New year cheer as family and friends celebrate the life of well-known local businessman and avid Stoke City supporter Steve Poole at the Potters’ first home league game of 2020

Friends and family will raise a toast to commemorate Stoke City supporter and businessman Steve Poole at the Potters’ bet365 Stadium in January.

Steve’s untimely death (aged 64), in spring 2019 also saw the end of an era for long-established business George Poole and Sons, a company that could track its history through four generations of the same family.

His great grandfather James founded the business in1896, trading from a yard off North Street, Stoke, as a scrap merchant. He was succeeded by his son George, and then Steve’s father, Robert, with Steve joining the family firm in the mid-1970s.

The company moved from North Street, Stoke, to Clough Street, Hanley in 1974, when its original yard was swallowed up by the building of the A500. The company was well known throughout Staffordshire and beyond, working repeatedly with major names such as Michelin Tyre, British Rail and British Steel, at Shelton Bar before its closure.  Its main business included metal recycling, industrial skip hire, and haulage via Steve Poole Bulk Tippers, and it had one of only a few public weighbridges in North Staffordshire.

Steve and his 3 sisters grew up in North Street, within easy walking distance of Stoke City’s Victoria Ground. Steve witnessed the glory days of the early 1970s and was at Wembley to see Peter Dobing lift the League Cup in 1972.

George Poole and Sons became well known supporters of the Potters, sponsoring games and purchasing pitch side advertising at both the Victoria Ground and then the Britannia Stadium (now bet365 Stadium) following the club’s relocation to Trentham Lakes.

Steve leaves a wife, two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren. Now his sister, Kathy Poole, has arranged for family and friends to attend the match versus Millwall on January 11. A celebration of Steve’s life will be held in the Waddington Suite at the bet365 Stadium.

Kathy said: “The first league game of the new year at Stoke City has traditionally been one where supporters remember loved ones who passed away during the previous year. Stoke City was always in Steve’s heart and our family firm has been associated with the club for many years.

“We will be holding a gathering in the Waddington suite and raising a toast to celebrate Steve’s life and commemorate over 120 years of George Poole and Sons.

“Steve was at the helm of the business for almost 20 years and, following his death, a decision was made to close the company and sell the site.”

“It really was the end of an era.  Our great grandfather started as a scrap metal man using a waggon and horses. He built four terraced houses in North Street Stoke, and this was home to the Poole family and the business for many years.

“Steve was a pupil of Lawton Hall School before joining the business. It became a limited company in the 2006 and took the name George Poole Metal Processors Ltd. 

“Sadly, Steve died at just 64-years-old. He fell ill with prostate cancer in July 2018 and, passed away in April 2019. (Gentlemen don’t delay having your prostate checked!). He spent all his life following his beloved Stoke City, experiencing many ups and downs, from the exciting Waddington years of the late 60s and early 70s, through relegation and then back to the Premier League. In the end,  it seemed only fitting, that there was  only one place we could celebrate his life.”